Thursday 12 December 2013

9th & 10th January, 1948 - A case of petty revenge but Ron is enjoying his surroundings

Friday, 9th January, 1948
There was veritably no work at the office this morning so when a crime was reported at about 9am I seized the opportunity and decided to visit the scene of the crime.  Bribery & corruption, though very rarely heard of in public is very rife here among Government Officials.  One of the few magistrates who are not open to this interference is one who has his home in a village near Nablus and his vocation in another city.  An accused person in a case some time ago approached the Mag. with a substantial bribe, but as usual he refused it.  This annoyed the accused who came from the same village as the Mag.  To get his revenge he cut off Olive trees belonging to the Mag. and transplanted them in his own lands.  Myself & a Police Party first visited the Mag’s. Land where we saw two freshly planted trees of the same age & type as those stolen.  Two others were found in the Accused’s yard, and another planted in his land some distance away with a further patch of
ground where a tree had obviously been replanted and dug up again.  Thus two trees of the seven were missing.  Usually in a case of revenge or “Fassad” the accused is content with damaging a number of trees, leaving them on the complainants lands.  Petty “Fassad” of this nature is one of the commonest crimes I encounter and one of the most difficult to prove.  We often do not know the accused in such an offence for if the complainant has many potential enemies any one of them is capable of committing the act.  The punishment is of course light(?) but fails to deter further crimes of this nature.

Saturday, 10th January, 1948
It was a lovely morning this morning as I made my way over to the station.  After the recent rains the atmosphere tastes clear & clean and free from the summer dusts.  All the fields and mountain sides are now covered in a mantle of fresh young green.  The journeys by truck are much more pleasant through such country under a clear blue sky and today’s bright, but not hot sun, than in summer under a scorching sun and in clouds of dust.
The animals are beginning to cover their skeleton like summer selves with a more meaty body and no longer rush when they near water.  With plenty of food in them the cows

are more content and have time to see to the sleeking of their coats so that they look quite respectable animals now.  One never sees Arab cows with heavy udders for they are not bred for milk as the Arabs drink only goat milk.  Cows are bread to draw ploughs and for their meat which owing to their hard lives is never very tasty.  Sheep are more or less treated as one with goats here the milk of both being drunk in large quantities.  They are driven in flock by boys to graze on the mountain sides or off growing crops when the farmer is not near, for there are no hedges built, the land of one man carrying on into the next man’s land.  This often is the cause of Fassads between men.

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